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When named for Sherman?[edit]

The citations provided do not provide evidence that the tree was named for Sherman in 1879. Can someone actually produce a citation? When Gifford Pinchot visited the tree in 1891 he documents that the colonists there called it the Karl Marx Tree (see Breaking New Ground pg 44). The historian William Tweed writes, "I have never found anything from the period 1879-1885 that uses the ‘General Sherman’ name…" http://www.48hills.org/2014/08/27/karl-marx-tree-southern-pacific-railroad-killed-socialist-colony-name-creating-yosemite-national-park/ This is very suspicious since a specific date is provided. It appears that the tree was renamed so that it wouldn't share a name with the father of Communism and the story of Wolverton concocted. For the encyclopedia I either suggest removing the unsourced suggestion that the tree was named in 1879 by Wolverton, or indicating that the tree was previously known by a different name and that it is uncertain when it was named for Grant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Just in the last few years, a couple Tulare County locals have researched the story about the tree being named for Sherman by James Wolverton, in 1879. The oldest version of the story, that's been found, is from 1914. James Wolverton appears to have never existed. C sloth (talk) 02:54, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Pinchot: "The colonists had named the biggest Sequoia for Karl Marx. Today that might entitle them to be called Bolsheviks. Under whatever name, they were very kind to one stranger I could mention. "Forty-six years later I saw that tree again. This second time I traveled to it not on makeshift snowshoes improvised out of barrel staves but by automobile. The vast Sequoia itself had shared the change. It was no longer Socialist, but had taken the name of a great soldier and citizen, General Sherman." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:27, 12 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

The story of James Wolverton naming the Gen. Sherman Tree is probably untrue[edit]

From the article: "The General Sherman was named after the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, in 1879 by naturalist James Wolverton, who had served as a lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman.". The story of James Wolverton and his naming of the General Sherman tree is from a 1914 in newspaper articles promoting Sequoia and General Grant National Parks; this is the earliest reference that has been found to this story. Recently, local historians have shown that the story seems to be a complete fabrication. In fact the person of James Wolverton appears to have never existed, or at best he is loosely based on someone named Joel Rivers Woolverton. But: There are no records of Joel Wolverton being in this part of California before 1890. Joel never served under Gen. Sherman. He was stationed in Nevada during the Civil War. There is no evidence that he went by the name of "James". And there doesn't appear to be a valid reason to consider him a "naturalist".[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] C sloth (talk) 02:10, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Added "possibly apocryphal". Schazjmd (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]


I've moved some material that's actually about the Grant tree (which someone can write an article about if they like)Vicki Rosenzweig 01:44, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC):

Darn. I always mix these two trees up!!! My bad, thanks for catching it. I'll make a link to General Grant from giant sequoia.

Took out material from here, moved to General Grant tree. -- hike395 01:49, 10 Aug 2003 (UTC)


You know, from those pictures, I don't think it's even the largest tree in that forest, let alone on earth.. I wish we had some pictures with a better sense of scale.


This was removed from the article by an IP-editor:

It is named after General William Tecumseh Sherman, American Civil War leader. Many persons of born in the Southern United States object to monuments named after General Sherman because of the destructiveness of Sherman's March to the Sea. There is a movement to rename this tree.

Is there really a movement to rename the tree? Should this be mentioned in the article? I know nothing about this. - Haukur 14:35, 26 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

That paragraph was also inserted by an anon editor --- I couldn't find any material either supporting the paragraph, so I was OK with it being deleted. If someone could verify the claim, we can undelete. -- hike395 17:58, 26 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, good call. There very well might be such a campaign but if there is it doesn't appear to have any Internet presence. Until someone presents a verifiable source the right thing to do is to keep it out. - Haukur 21:20, 26 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Not the tallest tree[edit]

How is this the tallest tree? There are loads of trees over a 100 m. See Stratosphere Giant and the links from it. Piet 13:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Ahh, largest in mass. You could clarify that. I don't really believe they have measured enough trees to be sure, but well... Piet 13:53, 31 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
From what I've read, there have been quite a few trees now which have been climbed and measured by climbers, wrapping tapes around the trunks at intervals. Including General Sherman, a bunch of other Giant Sequioas, and many largest and tallest Coastal Redwoods. The results are not plastered all over the internet, but there are a decent number of references and web pages about it.ThreeWikiteers (talk) 16:00, 4 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The tallest tree is apparently another Redwood, Hyperion. An attempt to reference this in the article has been reverted. Lidz 17:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Not the tallest tree Part 2[edit]

After reading the last headline's comments about General Sherman not being one of the tallest trees, I'm going to deleted or modify that sentence in the article. I also agree is is not one of the tallest, and feedback so far, leans that way.

In fact, General Sherman is almost 100 feet shorter than several of the tallest coastal redwoods. And it's even shorter than many of the largest coastal redwoods. For example, the Lost Monarch and Del Norte Titan on this redwood link, are both taller, with Del Norte Titan being 30 feet taller than General Sherman. See also Sequoia sempervirens for coastal redwood measurements.ThreeWikiteers (talk) 15:55, 4 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Citation for Statistics[edit]

Tonight, I tried to find references for the statistics. Does anybody know of a good website, or book, which documents the statistics for the various diameters listed? I'm not disputing the stats. It just would be good to list a source if possible. Thanks.ThreeWikiteers (talk) 06:46, 30 May 2008 (UTC)[reply]

This website http://www.safnet.org/aboutforestry/funfacts.cfm confirms the diameter and girth of the tree. A photo i found (which i put a link on this site for in the past) of the general sherman sign taken sometime in 2008 saying it's girth was 109 feet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bradluke22 (talkcontribs) 22:47, 27 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Note that the ref tag has been applied to 'circumference at base', and is listed at 109 ft. Based on the diameter at base given immediately below in the table and the identity circum=pi*diameter, I believe the figure should be 114.67 feet, and no citation should be needed. However, I am unsure whether 'base' and 'ground' are used to mean two separate things in this context. Rritterson (talk) 05:32, 19 December 2008 (UTC)[reply]

You have just * the maximum diameter by pie, which wouldnt give you anywhere near the real value. As you are assuming it is the maximum diameter all the way round, a perfect cylinder. Their are three types of girth measurment, at ground where it's simply putting a tape round the base if it be on a slant or flat it doesnt matter, this will give the largest value and this is what the 109feet value for general sherman is. The next is the girth at high point of ground which measures a girth of the tree at the horizonal plane of the highest point of ground. The last is the girth at breast height which measures the girth at 4.5 feet above the highest point of ground. I hope that helps.

"Tallest" not the same as "largest"[edit]

(...or "widest," or "most number of rings," or "prettiest," or "most kitchen cabinets made from one tree"). People, please be careful when editing this article. There's a 2008 version of Guinness Book of World Records that's entirely searchable at Google books -- it's a piece of cake to look up anything you like, including the world's tallest tree, which is, in fact, the the Hyperion. (The "largest" is evidently not included in those records, but according to various other reliable sources [including the United States government -- see the ref. I added at nps.org] this tree is, in fact, the largest [although, sadly, that fact is not noted at the WP article for Hyperion. Go, WP!]). But not the tallest! This is just a reminder to keep the two straight. I've made edits reflecting that, but I'm sure someone will get his/her bloomers in a tangle (again) at some point, so I'm adding this note to mitigate future confusion. Love, SB Sugarbat (talk) 23:02, 28 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Biggest tree should not redirect here[edit]

This is not the biggest tree - it is the tallest tree- and bigest tree should redirect to a list of trees. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC).[reply]

Uh yeah no... Famartin (talk) 23:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]


To whoever posted this heading, the redirect comment may have been incorrect when posted back in 2011. But apparently a "cat" may be wigging out of a bag through the site of an expert arborist. Several people have haggled over M. D. Vaden's professional site as a resource, but if his opinion get's published, there's a good chance Gen. Sherman may go on the record as a double-trunk tree instead of a single trunk that people have touted for years. Vaden published a somewhat detailed explanation about trees, tissue and formation, noting how Sherman is a twin tree. In which case, the biggest tree page would need to redirect somewhere else. But would that be a new coast redwood discovery like Grogan's Fault, or would it be another giant sequoia like the President, Grant, etc.? The revelation emerged from the following source >> [6] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:24, 21 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Round off error?[edit]

There's a discrepancy between the introductory paragraph and the table.

In the introductory paragraph, the volume is given as 1487 cubic meters (52,513 cu ft). 1487.0000 cubic meters = 52,512.9094 cubic feet.

In the table, it's given as 1487 cubic meters (52,508 cu ft). 52,508.0000 cubic feet = 1486.8610 cubic meters.

I suspect the original calculation was made in feet, and the 1487 cubic meters is rounded off from the 52508 cu ft figure, but I'm not sure. (This would make the table right and the introductory paragraph wrong.) Does anybody know for sure? Was the original calculation made in feet?

JohnGHissong (talk) 23:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

More History Needed[edit]

How did this tree survive so long without being cut down? How was the area this tree was in get preserved if its great size was not realized until 1931? This article could use some historical research.Ryoung122 02:36, 31 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Access to the Giant Forest area (Where the Sherman Tree is located) was quite difficult before 1890. e.g. Prior to that time, there was really no practical way to get horse drawn wagons into that area. The Kaweah Colonists finished their logging road around 1890, which went most of the way from the foothills to Giant Forest. In 1890, a bill was signed by the President making the the Giant Forest area a National Park (Sequoia National Park), thus protecting the Sherman Tree. There has been some speculation that the Southern Pacific Railroad was behind the creation of Sequoia National Park, because they didn't want the Kaweah Colonists logging the Giant Forest area and potentially driving down the price of lumber in the San Joaquin Valley [1].C sloth (talk) 19:17, 30 April 2018 (UTC) C_sloth[reply]


  1. ^ 'Co-Operative Dream, A History of the Kaweah Colony' (By Jay O'Connell, 1999)

Suggest removing picture of tree with child[edit]

This picture is included in the page right now: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/General_Sherman_2426497682.jpg

Coming this close to the tree can only be done by jumping a fence, as you can see here: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/General_Sherman_Tree_2013.jpg

Approaching the tree beyond the fence is prohibited because it can damage the tree's surprisingly shallow root structure. I suggest considering removing the picture since there are others out there that can show the tree's impressive scale without rewarding an act that's actually harmful to the thing this article is about.

Hopefully the established editors of this page can give this some thought. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:09, 2 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Strongly disagree. This is NOT a parks and wildlife document, and it is not the place to preach conservation. Whoever took that photo did so illegally, but removing the photo after the fact accomplishes nothing. Your statement below the caption of the photo will also be removed. There is no proof whatsoever that a child standing under that tree has or would damage its roots. I repeat: no proof whatsoever. That is non-neutral, unsubstantiated opinion, not based in fact and it needs to be removed from the caption. (talk) 04:38, 5 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
To remove or not remove is questionable. The person may not have violated any law or rule. If snow blocked information signs or they jumped a fence, or a fence was missing, the photo could be "moral" from two points of view. Unless stated otherwise, it's possible an image can be taken with special permission, which may be unknown. So the image, whether or not it's like, did occur, and seems okay for an example of size and scale. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:31, 21 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Inappropriate Photo Caption[edit]

"... Note that such behavior is discouraged due to the tree's shallow root system". Really? Did that need to be in the caption? That statement needs to be removed. It has nothing to do with the topic. This is not a parks and wildlife pamphlet. (talk) 04:32, 5 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

September 2021 - fact check?[edit]

I just came home from a visit to Sequoia NP (I got out just as they were closing the NP because of the fire(s)). An employee (food service, not NPS) told me that a tree, location in the Parks but secret, has recently been found and measures larger (I assume in volume, using their silly (but standard) measure) than General S. I was unable, after a very quick and sloppy search, to verify this. The table in the wiki.article is from 2009 - it needs an update anyway. Could someone check and update the dates? Thx! (talk) 18:52, 23 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]